Dr Niamh's Plum Tree Creative Community

Who is on the plum tree?

Plum Tree Books Feature: Erik The Great & Dr. A.V.Koshy in Song Of Sahel.

Josie is Erik's sister. She was aged eight at the time she drew this wonderful picture and sent her love to the barren side of the tree.

Josie is Erik’s sister. She was aged eight at the time she drew this wonderful picture and sent her love to the barren side of the tree.

I have been looking forward to featuring some of the wonderful contributors to Song Of Sahel, the anthology of poetry and art that I put together last year to help raise funds for the tragedy occurring in the Sahel region of Africa. This tragedy is by no means over. In fact, when my husband went there to help set up a refugee camp in Niger, he realised then that Al Qaeda were already moving into the region, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the country and its neighbouring, Mali.

It is not my intention to politicise here, just to raise awareness of the suffering of those who live in one of the harshest places on the planet.

It is my pleasure to feature two of the poets who made their contributions to my international call for contributors to this cause. The first is Erik. Erik is now eleven years old and writes a poignant poem from the perspective of one kid to another. His poem was illustrated by his little sister, Josie.

One Kid

By Erik W., Age 10

One kid.
That’s what I am.
What can I do?
The problem is so BIG,
And I feel so small.

Children of Sa-hel 1

 WELL…

I could write a poem.
That poem will be read by at least
Seven people, who now know.
Those seven people will tell their friends.
Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians.

Ordinary people who care.

They tell their friends.

Soon the news is spreading.
Help comes really soon to the people,
A world away from me.
Crops are planted, water is fresh.

There is time for school.anthology cover small

A child may be able to have the things
Every child should have.
I begin to realize, there is a chance
I can help, at least,
One kid.

Erik (Aged 12), USA: http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/

The second of today’s poets is Dr. Ampat Koshy. He writes a sensitive poem about how he could not imagine such poverty.

Sahel   

Dr A.V. Koshy

I cannot imagine the lives of the dispossessed
those of the mothers or of the children
i cannot imagine poverty
though i come from a third world country
i cannot imagine war and wounds
or tears and fleeing
and refugee camps
starvation and dis-ease
and no education or picture books or net
or films or libraries or parks or money in piggy-banks
to be given to kids to buy sweets as pocket money
i cannot imagine that i am ok
and they are not ok but suffering
and my heart goes out to them
my heart goes out to them
it bleeds and weeps
and i tell no one

On Facebook Dr. Ampat Koshy …Blog

Thank you to both of these wonderful contributors. It really is a wonderful anthology. Proceeds from the sales of this book go to: SOS Sahel who do amazing work in the Sahelian region. You can download the Kindle Here

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

18 comments on “Plum Tree Books Feature: Erik The Great & Dr. A.V.Koshy in Song Of Sahel.

  1. thiskidreviewsbooks
    February 7, 2013

    Thank you so much for posting my sister’s picture and my poem! Your book is so important. It really made me know about the problems in Sahel. Dr. Koshy’s poem is very meaningful. I hope soon that the whole world will know about Sahel.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      February 7, 2013

      You are welcome Erik. I tried to share to your Facebook page, but couldn’t. The whole world does know about Sahel, Erik. Unfortunately, the situation becomes politically worse. It takes a new generation to shape the future. You are one of them.

      Like

  2. patriciasands
    February 7, 2013

    How lovely to read these poems. Erik’s is so powerful – simple words that go straight to the heart. I am always touched by your efforts to do so much good, Niamh.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      February 7, 2013

      Many thanks, Patricia. A lot of work goes into something like this, and one hopes that it might do some good. Yes! Erik is wonderful and so supportive.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Be inspired! « West Coast Review

  4. Juliette
    February 7, 2013

    I loved to see the poetry especially from Erik, along with the illustration from his sister Josie. I posted a link to this page on my blog (West Coast Review).

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      February 7, 2013

      Many thanks, Juliette. Erik is a marvelous boy, and I love the children’s art. Erik’s blog is really great too. He reviews so many really great children’s books. Thank you for your support.

      Like

  5. the secret keeper
    February 7, 2013

    This is such a great idea to show excerpts from the Anthology Song of Sahel. Erik’s poem is so brilliantly written and his ripple effect idea is the way it should work. Love his sisterJosie’s drawing. And Dr. Koshy’s trying to “imagine” is what most people in the world who do not live in places such as Sahel have a difficult time doing. It is good that he brings this to the attention of those who do have food and shelter and a life outside of the danger and starvation of Sahel. This is a great post. And it is not politizing when you mention that Al-Qaeda has moved into the area. It just shows the continued and escalating urgency of helping Sahel. It is difficult to “imagine” such a periless situation when you live in an imaginary world to the people of Sahel. But my world is not imaginary and I wish those in Sahel could experience it on a daily basis and not live under the conditions they find themselves. I would like to “imagine” them safe and well fed and living a life where the children have homes and are able to live a more care free life that is meant for a child to experience. Thank you Niamh for keeping Sahel alive in people’s minds. I am hoping this will help and your efforts will be rewarded. What you are doing is such a good and wonderful effort. The people of Sahel are in my heart and I hope in the hearts of many. jennifer

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      February 7, 2013

      And it will be my great pleasure to feature your wonderful poem soon, Jennifer.

      Like

      • the secret keeper
        February 8, 2013

        Thank you, Niamh. You do it when you are ready. I appreaciate all your support of my work so much already. When the time is right I will be greatly delighted, Until then I will enjoy and learn from all that you post here. Everyone is so right when they speak and write of your generosity. I feel it deeply. jennifer

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        February 8, 2013

        I am so looking forward to featuring you, Jennifer.

        Like

      • the secret keeper
        February 8, 2013

        Je vous honore avec un arc d’humilité. Tu me déplacez. a.l. jennifer

        Like

      • ontheplumtree
        February 9, 2013

        Mais, bien sur!

        Like

  6. Patricia Tilton
    February 7, 2013

    This is the second time I’ve read Erik’s poem and I am impressed with the simplicity of his powerful words. Dr. Koshy’s poem is so heartfelt and reaches you at your inner core. Thank you for sharing the gems.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      February 7, 2013

      Many thanks Patricia. I will be featuring most of the poets over a period of time in the hopes of keeping this project alive.

      Like

  7. Walking with Beverley
    February 8, 2013

    Exceptional! Thanks Niamh.

    Like

  8. Betty Dravis
    February 9, 2013

    Erik does have powerful words, indeed! Another inspiring blog, Niamh. Thanks for sharing with all your fans. Hugs – Betty ❤

    Like

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